The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha Youth Employment Program is a job training program for youth ages 14-21. These youth work with local businesses while developing job skills to enable them to have better opportunities in the future. Participants attend workshops to increase employment and life skills. Members also receive various services such as mentoring, counseling, tutoring and much more.
Youth entering the program complete an assessment phase including academic, financial and social needs. This is followed up by in-depth career workshops that teach life skills, career goals, job specific skills, job responsibilities, etc. It also includes tutoring, mentoring, dropout prevention and stay in school activities. Next is a training period where they will receive hands-on work experience in a category of their interest. These categories may include, but are not limited to: administrative, maintenance, customer service, nursing home, child care, manufacturing, etc. This job placement was subsidized in 2010 by a variety of funding sources including Federal WIA funds and support from County Government.
The ultimate goal of the Youth Employment program is to have each participant obtain unsubsidized employment during or upon completion of the program. Youth are led through job training, work experience and career search and are aided in finding unsubsidized employment. Follow-up on youth progress is conducted after job placement.
In the last 10 years that the Boys & Girls Club has held the WIA grant, the department has been instrumental in helping more than 3,000 youth obtain employment.
Summer Program Enhanced with Kenosha County and Community Action funding:
The Youth Employment Program employed 212 in school and out-of-school youth between the ages of 14 and 21. The participating youth were economically or otherwise disadvantaged. They were referred to the program by community agencies and the local school district. The participants were hosted by mentors at 34 sites, performing 51 different job duties and logged 26,234 hours of work experience.
Pre and post experience evaluations documented:
- 29% skill improvement for participants, most notably in the areas of accepting direction, constructive criticism, motivation and taking initiative.
- 113 in-school youth were awarded ½ credit towards graduation for successful completion of the program
Recognizing that the Youth Employment program only accepted youth identified as “at-risk”, it is important to note that Kenosha County realized a 29.9% decrease in youth arrests during the term of this program as well as a 20% decrease in delinquency referrals to juvenile court intake even though criminal activity in the county was on the rise during this same period.